Cooperative Learning Techniques for Active Student Engagement

How can cooperative learning help your students? Cooperative learning is a successful teaching strategy whereby small teams of students with differing abilities engage in a variety of learning activities to improve their subject-matter understanding and skills. Each team member is responsible for learning what is taught as well as for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement (Balkcom, 1992). When structures are in place for this level of dialogue to occur, the comprehension process is accelerated (Bucalos & Ling, 2005). Positive effects of cooperative learning have been reported in all subject areas, grades, and types of schools and with students from different ethnic backgrounds and achievement levels (Slavin, 1994). Hattie (2012) described cooperative learning as “a powerful intervention” (p. 78). [Read more…]

Planning for Effective Intervention Blocks

Many schools include in their master schedule time each day to provide instructional intervention, reteaching, or remediation for students who have difficulty mastering academic concepts and require additional support outside of the general education classroom (Canady & Rettig, 2008). When intervention blocks are carefully planned and continuously monitored for efficiency and effectiveness, they can benefit both students and teachers. For example, in a study of elementary students with learning disabilities who received small-group instruction outside of the general education classroom, researchers found that students made the most substantial academic gains when instruction was [Read more…]